A Planet's Odyssey
January 22, 2022 at 7:30PM

GUEST ARTISTS

GRAMMY Award-winning composer, Jeffrey Biegel

DESCRIPTION

Buckle your seatbelts and prepare to blast off with us on a journey through outer space! We are “over the moon” to finally present the world premiere of Daniel Perttu’s A Planet’s Odyssey. In this new piano concerto, Perttu and soloist Jeffrey Biegel will take us on a voyage through our solar system in the form of a theme and variations that explores the unique properties and characteristics of each planet. Biegel will follow this premiere with the Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise Brillante of Frederic Chopin, one of the most celebrated figures ever to compose for the piano.

The concert opens with a work inspired by one of the most wonderous marvels in interstellar space – the rapid formation of many new stars in a concentrated area, or starburst. The eponymous work by Jessie Montgomery, a dynamic force on the American composition scene who rose to prominence last decade, is heard from the stage of Umstattd Hall for the first time. Joseph Haydn’s opera Il Mondo della Luna (“The World on the Moon”) is a comedic romp about a fool who gets tricked into believing he’s gone to the moon. While the opera has fallen out of the repertoire, the charming overture captures both the mystique of the moon to the eighteenth century mind, as well as the lighthearted nature of the opera’s plot. The concert concludes with Mozart’s “Jupiter” symphony, his last and grandest in scope; so grand in its time that a critic likened it to our solar system’s largest planet.  

TICKETS

$10 / $20 / $30 / $50
Student Tickets (18+ with ID): FREE
Children 17 and under: FREE
* Children’s and Student tickets available over the phone or at the box office day of show with ID*
Box Office: 330-452-2094
boxoffice@cantonsymphony.org

PROGRAM

Starburst……………………………………………………………..Jessie Montgomery
Overture: Il Mondo de la Luna (The World on the Moon)………Haydn
Planet’s Odyssey………………………………Daniel Perttu (World Premiere)
Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise Brillante……………………Chopin
Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 “Jupiter”……………………….Mozart

COMPOSER SPOTLIGHT

Jessie Montgomery is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice, placing her squarely as one of the most relevant interpreters of 21st-century American sound and experience. Her profoundly felt works have been described as “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post).

Jessie was born and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1980s during a time when the neighborhood was at a major turning point in its history. Artists gravitated to the hotbed of artistic experimentation and community development. Her parents – her father a musician, her mother a theater artist and storyteller – were engaged in the activities of the neighborhood and regularly brought Jessie to rallies, performances, and parties where neighbors, activists, and artists gathered to celebrate and support the movements of the time. It is from this unique experience that Jessie has created a life that merges composing, performance, education, and advocacy.

Music has always been a kind of magic for me, a portal to other realms. When I was young, I was inspired by fantasy novels such as The Lord of the Rings, and I’m still drawn to myths and legends. I’ve written works on themes ranging from the sorcery of Merlin to the Callanish Stone Circle and the Torngat Mountains. My aim is to write music that invites audiences into other worlds, so they can re-discover their own sense of wonder.

Although Dan always loved to compose, he was resistant to pursue composition as a career. As an undergrad, he hedged his bets by studying music and English. He also took numerous courses in psychology and neuroscience and even considered a career in law. When he was awarded a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship to study music in graduate school, he threw caution to the wind and decided to go “all in.” It worked. Upon graduating with his doctorate in composition, he took a position as a music professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and now teaches at Westminster College, where he also serves as Chair of the School of Music. He lives with his wife and two amazing daughters in bucolic New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

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